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All you need to know about Marshfield MO
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 1,493 ft (455 m). Population 6,633 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Marshfield is the county seat of Webster County, in southwestern Missouri.
History of Marshfield
The first humans settled in southern Missouri some 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago. More recenly, around 700 BC the Osage peple settled here after being expelled from their homeland on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers by the warmongering Iroquois.
The French reached the area in 1682. The named it "Louisiana" after their king Louis XIV. In 1803 Napoleon sold it to the U.S. Government. The Missouri Territory was organized in 1812 and statehood reached in 1821.
A series of treaties removed the Ossage and other natives that had been relocated in Missouri by the U.S. Government so by the early 1830s, the first white settlers arrived.
The Flannagan family arrived in the 1830s and Webster county was established in 1855. One year later Marshfield was founded.
The name: Marshfield
The county was named after a prominent 19th century politician, Daniel Webster. The town was named after the place he had lived in, Marshfield Massachusetts.
The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad reached Marshfield in 1872. In 1880 an F4 strength tornado struck the town killing 99 people, one tenth of its population.
Route 66 was created in 1926, and passed through the town. When the road was improved after 1955 it was realigned to the west of the old road, bypassing the town.
Find your hotel in Marshfield, Missouri
There is accommodation in Marshfield in case you plan to spend the night here.
> > Book your hotel in Marshfield
More Lodging close to Marshfield on Route 66
There are many hotels on the Missouri section of Route 66 close to Marshfield, see the towns with accommodation in the list below.
Hotels Westwards in Missouri
Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation
>> Check out the RV campgrounds in Marshfield
The Weather in Marshfield
Location of Marshfield on Route 66
Marshfield has clearly defined seasons. Its position on the northern limit of U.S.'s humid subtropical climate gives it very humid weather during late summer.
The July average temperatures (summer) temperatures are: (high) 89°F (31.6°C); (low) 68° (19.8°C). The aerage January (winter) high temperature is 43°F (6.1°C) while the average low is below freezing: 22°F (-5.3°C).
Annual rainfall averages 45.6 in. (1.160 mm), and Marshfield receives about 17 in. of snow (43 cm) every year.
Marshfield is located in the "Tornado Alley" and Webster County has around 9 tornado strikes per year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route 66.
Map of Route 66 in Marshfield
Though Rittenhouse in 1946 does not mention a "City 66", and the maps of that time don't have the detail to show the exact alignment through the city, several online references including the city's website mention two different alignments of Route 66 in Marshfield: a City 66 and a Bypass 66.
Rittenhouse wrote the following (his mileage starts at the junction of City and Bypass 66 in St.Louis and include a countdown to Springfield): "199 mi. (22 mi.) Gas Station. Just southwest of here a road forks off (L) to Marshfield. At 201 mi. (20 mi.) is an intersection of US 66 with the main road into Marshfield... the town of Marshfield is a short distance off US 66. At the intersection of US 66 and the road into town ther are several small cafes, gas stations...". Clearly City 66 didn't exist by 1946.
Route 66 followed this winding course from 1926 to 1953 when a four-lane alignment was built through this area, and now lies under I-44.
The gas station 199 mi. west of St. Louis was located just east of N Pine and W. Hubble, while the intersection at the 201 mi. marker is the junction of Washington and W. Hubble.
Route 66 Sights in Marshfield
Marshfield and its Route 66 attractions
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Marshfield
As mentioned above, after driving the whole of US 66 in 1946, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" which gives us a good description of the Mother Road during its heyday. Here is what he says about Marshfield.
Marshfield... Tarr's garage; Webster hotel; stores; few cabins... The village of Marshfield is a quiet, agricultural commuinity little touched by the rush of the highway traffic. Rittenhouse (1946)
Thinking about visitingt Branson?
Some tours and sightseeing
Tour the route 66 landmarks in Marshfield
The cafes, cabins and gas stations mentioned by Rittehnhouse have all gone, razed by new developments and the loss of business after U.S. 66 moved west of town in 1955 to the new four-lane alignment, which became I-44.
Route 66 Park
A new interchange was added to I-44 north of Marshfield and a new Route CC roadway was built to link to the existing one. At the junction with Route 66 and Rifle Range Rd., the highway was realigned and a new roadside park was built to preserve an original stretch of Route 66.
This small stretch of Route 66 is 150 feet long and has a parking area next to it. The park is being completed with memorabilia and signs. See this Map showing its location. Below is an air view of the place, the original roadbed can be seen on the bottom of the image.
Drive west along Old US 66 and after 0.9 mi. at N. Elm St. on the SW corner is the old Skyline Cafe.
The one-story concrete block building was built in 1931 on the site of the old "Main Course Filling station". It was owned by Herman and Cleta Pearce. It has a flat roof -see photo below, but it was rebuilt later and replaced with a gabled roof.
It was a café and a D-X brand gasoline filling station known as "Trask's Place" strategically located on Route 66 next to the local airport, hence its name "Skyline" Cafe. In 1962 the Marshfield Country Club acquired the building.
Vintage photo of the Skyline Cafe, Marshfield MO, Credits
Drive west for 0.6 miles until you reach Pine St. This is where City 66 splits from the Main alignment and heads south (left). Along Main 66 there are no other remaining Route 66 attractions, so turn left along Pine following City 66.
At E. Washington St. (0.7 mi) turn right towards Marshfields Main Square with the County Courthouse built in 1941. There is a maker in the lawn in front of the building with the history of Webster county.
Route 66 circles the square, and you can park and take a stroll to see the old red-brick buildings that face it.
City 66 Shield painted on the paving, Marshfield MO. Credits
City 66 Shield
There are shields painted on the roadway marking the City 66 alignment in Marshfield.
Each of the pedestrian crossings around the main square have one painted in the middle of the zebra.
Replica of the Hubble Space Telescope
On Central Square, SW corner at W Madison and S. Clay St. beside the courthouse.
Scale Model of the Hubble Space Telescope, credits.
The 1⁄4 scale model is a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope located at the county courthouse in Marshfield, Missouri.
See its Street View.
It has a Marker, and was dedicated by the Hubbell Family Historical Society on June 12, 1999.
Edwin Powell Hubble (1889 - 1953) was an American astronomer born in Marshfield. He discovered that the galaxies are moving away from each other at a speed that is proportional to its distance from us. Therefore the Universe is expanding as laid out by what is known as "Hubble's law".
Route 66 Bypass and the stretch of I-44 freeway at Marshfield is named after him. And the space telescope launched by NASA into space to study the universe was also named in his honor.
Old 1880 Building
111 S Clay St, Marshfield, NW corner of S Clay and W Madison.
The two-story brick building that now is Smokey J's restaurant, was built in 1880 and in the past has been a furniture store, a funeral parlor, an auto parts shop and a laundromat. It is located across the street from the replica of the space telescope (street view).
Walk one block south to visit the "Walk of Fame"
Walk of Fame
The Missouri Walk of Fame honors famous Missourians and is similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the stars in the sidewalk are added during the local "Cherry Blossom Festival". The walk begins in front of the Webster County Musuem and proceeds down Clay St.
Marshfield Oil Co
On the south side of the square, on the corner of E. Madison and S. Marshall streets is an old 1920s gas station.
The building is next to the old Ritz Theater and had a canopy facing both Madison and Marshall, with a typical 1920s brick structure with solid columns and arches. Below is a "Then and Now" sequence of the building the arches have been walled in, but the structure is the original one (red arrow).
Follow W. Washington St. out of the downtown area. It meets Bypass 66 on the western side of Marshfield. Nothing remains here of the bustling cafes and gas stations that once stood here.
The landmarks that were torn down include: Rigg's Cafe, 66 Auto Court, Williams Service Station, Sinclair Tourist Camp, and Marshfield Auto Court.
Marshfield Route 66 Mural
Head west along Route 66 and after the junction with MO-38, to your left is the "Mural" (it is here).
On the 1950s Route 66, that was a four-lane highway (now buried beneath the interstate) was the Fair Oaks motel. Head west along Spur Dr. towards Interstate 44, cross over it at Exit 100's overpass and to your right is the site of the Fair Oaks Motel.
Fair Oaks Motel (later Plaza motel) site
113 Missouri W, Marshfield. NW side of I-44 Exit 100
During the mid 1950s, U.S. 66 was upgraded and improved. It was turned into a safer and straighter four-lane highway that bypassed the towns and stopped using the the old 1926 to 1950s alignment. This became a frontage road or a Missouri State Highway. After 1958 I-44 was aligned alongside US-66 and used the new freeway. It was here, next to the Exit on I-44 at State Hwy 38 that led into Marshfield, that the Fair Oaks Motel was built. It is pictured below, and later became the Plaza motel (see image), but it has been torn down.
Your city tour of Marshfield ends here, return to Route 66's 1926-53 alignment and head west to continue your Route 66 road trip into Red Top.
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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66
Architectural - Historic Survey of Route 66 in Missouri and Detailed Survey, Maura Johnson. 1993
Missouri: The WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State